OpenAI Lawsuit: ChatGPT Makers sued over Alleged Data Theft

OpenAI the creator of ChatGPT is being sued in California for allegedly collecting private user data without permission, prompting a class-action lawsuit against the company.

OpenAI Lawsuit ChatGPT Makers sued over Alleged Data Theft

At a Glance – Summary

OpenAI, the creator of AI tool ChatGPT and its partner Microsoft are facing a class-action lawsuit for alleged illicit scraping of private data from internet users to develop AI models. 

The suit claims violation of multiple state and federal privacy laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, alleging they rushed their products to market without adequate safeguards against potential misuse. 

The plaintiffs include a software engineer, a child and a student who claim their private information was accessed through ChatGPT's integration into apps such as Snapchat, Microsoft Teams and Slack. 

The suit calls for a $3 billion compensation for damages, along with a pause on public access to all OpenAI products to ensure responsible deployment of the technology. 

The lawsuit is a significant development amid rising global attention towards AI regulation, with the US and EU already proposing legislation for the burgeoning industry.

What does the class action lawsuit say?

OpenAI is facing an anonymous lawsuit claiming ChatGPT poses a significant threat due to alleged data theft from millions, contributing to its human-like responses.

The petitioners argue that OpenAI unlawfully harvested personal information across platforms without consent, profiting from unsuspecting individuals’ private lives.


They also contend that OpenAI’s revenue-generating generative AI, including ChatGPT and Dall-E, would not exist without this unethically sourced data.

Accused data includes physical locations, chats, contact information, search histories and browser information.

What is the demand of the Plaintiffs?

The lawsuit alleges OpenAI released products without adequate data protection safeguards.

It demands transparency regarding OpenAI’s data collection methods, compensation for potentially misappropriated information and an opt-out option for its data collection activities.

What is OpenAI’s Previous track record on data privacy?

OpenAI, the entity behind AI tools like ChatGPT, has been facing accusations and scrutiny over alleged data usage from YouTube, owned by competitor Google, for its AI training.

The allegations followed similar ones against Google, which was accused of using ChatGPT data for its own AI bot, Bard.

Further, OpenAI faced legal concerns in Italy, resulting in a temporary ban of ChatGPT over data privacy issues.

The ban was rescinded after OpenAI demonstrated sufficient safety measures to Italian authorities.

Japan also expressed data privacy concerns about ChatGPT. Amidst these troubles, OpenAI’s official stance is that it only collects user data (email, payment information and name) when necessary and has not publicly addressed its AI model’s data sourcing from the broader internet.

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